House Oversight Committee chair Jason Chaffetz questioned the motives behind the Justice Department’s appointment of a special prosecutor to oversee the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.
“I think they’re feeling the political heat,” Chaffetz told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Wednesday evening. “Maybe they’re watching a little too much television and read too many newspapers and whatnot.”
“I have not seen any evidence of actual collusion,” Chaffetz said. “Where is the actual crime that they think they need a special prosecutor to prosecute? I just haven’t seen it.”
Chaffetz also took note of the Justice Department’s quick action Wednesday.
“I’m very surprised by it. No heads-up,” said Chaffetz. “I at least read online that the White House only got about 30-minutes heads up.”
The DOJ appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to oversee the FBI’s investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 US presidential election.
The appointment, made by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, comes amid a bipartisan outcry for a special counsel after a string of scandals rocked the White House in recent weeks.
“My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted,” Rosenstein’s statement read. “I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”
“[The investigation] could go on for years,” said Chaffetz. “And there could be long periods of just silence. And what I worry is that the Democrats are going to politically exploit this on a daily drumbeat, making up theories, making up stories … when you don’t have the definitive word from somebody who’s going to be essentially silent.”
“Does that seep out? At what point does that let off,” Chaffetz continued. “I physically don’t know exactly where those lanes are.”
Chaffetz also questioned the validity of memos Comey recorded when he was FBI director, and which were reported to have noted that Trump asked Comey to drop the bureau’s inquiry of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn. “I’m not even sure that these memos even exist,” Chaffetz said. “I don’t even know that they’re real.”
“You can’t run an investigation on anonymous sources in The New York Times. That’s just not conclusive evidence.”
Watch the interview here »
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